Friday, December 03, 2021

A loud mouth in the high gallery

By EMN Updated: Nov 10, 2013 9:28 pm

Khekiye K. Sema 

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his is one amongst the “loud mouths” who stood on “the high gallery” set up by ACAUT on the 31st October 2013 at Dimapur. Mine was perhaps the loudest voice in terms of volume even if it had no appreciative content from the stand point of NSCN(IM). My point of distaste lies in the NSCN(IM)’s indirect manner of demeaning others who may not share the same trend of thoughts as they do. So let me loud mouth some more. I had made a public statement that if I had misrepresented truth that day I would gladly and humbly render a public apology once pointed out to me. That offer still stands.However unclear, for the very first time the political philosophy, the perception of who NSCN(IM) believes they are and the direction being taken by them on the subject of self-determination is filtering into the public domain. Whether we agree or disagree, this is a very good beginning for a thought exchange on both sides and a blessing for us all. I doff my hat to them for this. For much too long a time, the God given gift of brain has been lodged in the trigger finger of the NPGs. That had made them dangerous ‘thinkers’ to barter our lives trying to express what we believe in. This slight shift towards a desire to reason is a welcomed breath of fresh air, knowing well that the finger is still not too far away from the trigger. The NSCN(IM) surely understands that no one’s opinion is sacrosanct in this world. We are expected to contend with the conflicting views and find a common path that serves the honest will, not induced will, of the majority if we hope to succeed. This exercise has never been undertaken on a broad base appraisal and there has been a great deal of confused misgivings. In as far as I am concerned I have maintained a healthy regard for NSCN (IM) at least for taking negotiated settlement to the forefront which no other NPGs have been seen doing other than to raise tax. Having said that, it is about time that some of the existing critical questions that have been plaguing the minds of the people should be shared and cleared with sincerity in the absence of malice. My role here is a mere messenger carrying the people’s confusion that has often been heard, for enlightenment, in the hope that the intended desire for REASONING is not misplaced where the messenger lands up becoming the target in the shooting range instead, which I certainly do not relish. I do this for the people as much as it is necessary for NSCN(IM) if they truly hope to have the Nagas behind them.
1. Many a time there have been reference made to the “National principle” of which the public at large is not aware. What is this National Principle?
2. Without mincing words the Naga National Struggle began with NNC/FGN as a united Naga Movement which the Government of India could not fragment until Shillong Accord appeared in the horizon which Mr. Phizo failed to denounce. The honourable National duty of all the senior national leaders of that era should have been to impeach Mr. Phizo in a legitimate way and not allow our national house to collapse around us. Instead we set up a conflicting parallel organization that introduced infighting and from then on we have been steadily climbing down the hill. Today Naga Tribal Council (NTC) has done exactly what NSCN did in the past. Instead of salvaging Naga Hoho which was a legitimate official forum of the Nagas of Nagaland and creating a Pan Naga platform for all Nagas from other States which also is a needed forum, NTC was more absorbed in creating another entity which now is on a collision course with the other NGOs and within each individual tribe. We Nagas do not believe in history and therefore have been condemned to repeated it plain and simple. Now NSCN(IM) is banning NTC for doing exactly what it did in the past. We as a people have been blessed with a complete lack of patience and foresight, so complacently content with digging our own graves just to identify ourselves as leaders. Coming back however, NNC was the only Organization which had the true mandate of the people. No one can deny this fact. NNC (Accordist) still mislead the people as National Workers after their capitulation. They identify themselves as NNC “Accordist” and in the same breath say Shillong Accord did not exist. This is the faction that has no further reason or legitimacy to continue in the National Movement. Their very name defines them. This kind of tomfoolery still finds acceptance in some Naga loyalists but most Nagas are waking up to their reality. The point that needs cool contemplation is the existence of NNC (NON-ACCORDIST), people who did not accept the Shillong Accord. From a very technical stand point they are the organization which still has a legitimate linkage with the plebiscite of 1951. So purely from this technical point of view again, if NPGs were to unify it still has this house to shelter under and let Isac and Muivah lead the united house or anyone that has the honourable support of the majority and revitalise the plebiscite. One tax one Govt. can then have a meaningful conclusion.
3.NSCN(IM) claims they have the National mandate. Many have yet to understand how that “national mandate” was obtained. High percentage within the masses talk of the dissenting leaders being wiped out as traitors before the National Assembly, that was supposed to have been called in Eastern Nagaland, for disagreeing to the formation of NSCN. Others add that even if that was so, the mandate would have been for that consolidated NSCN before its further fragmentation into so many other factions. Necessarily that national assembly’s mandate would have become null and void with the emergence of NSCN(IM) and so many other factions. This is where the fundamental issue as to who are real and who are not the mandate holders when linked to legitimacy for tax collection. None of the NPGs have taken time out to educate the masses. It is incumbent for them to do so now and garner the support of the masses as was the case of the generation that went before us.
4. The most asked question is what kind of negotiation is being conducted between NSCN(IM) and the GOI? Why is this being kept so secret? Whose sovereignty is NSCN(IM) fighting for if not for us? If it is for us, we too are serious stakeholders and we have a right to know what our future is going to be. Is Naga Peace talk being compromised on account of GOI’s inability to sort out the issues of other Tribes in other States in connection to integration issue? These are the festering questions which are in everyone’s mind but keeping silent for fear of guns. Without answering these questions, claiming loyalty becomes a big ask.
5. There are more but the final question for this round is: Should Nagas ever get our independence what kind of Government is being proposed to be established? Would it be a democratic one or the present form of the organization with Collective Leadership, one hierarchy without a party system? This too has to do with our future and this issue I had raised in my earlier writings saying “ are we fighting for our independence so as to lose our individual freedom?” Our people, the stakeholders, have the right to know the answers to all the critical question raised from not only the NSCN(IM) but from all the NPGs. We have been lead blindfolded thus far and the time to remove it is rife. The people are searching for a real FATHER. Please clear our minds.
This is loud mouth signing off again. God bless.
The writer is a retired IAS Officer.

By EMN Updated: Nov 10, 2013 9:28:44 pm